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DEITY COSMOS AND MAN
by Geoffrey Farthing
Part 2, XI Ever-Becoming - The Processes of Evolution
Behind the processes of Cosmos and all the operations of Nature there is design. The ultimate purpose behind all the cosmic activity cannot be perceived by our finite faculties but Occult Science teaches that the whole process tends toward a progressive unfoldment of SelfConsciousness. There are deep inner areas of subjectivity which at present cannot normally be reached, but something of the design behind the evolutionary process as it applies to our more immediate realms of being and what is in them can be discerned from, for example, the increase in the sentiency of things as they ascend through the kingdoms. Occultism extends this view, perhaps surprisingly. The following introduces some novel, even strange, ideas:
There are two aspects to the evolutionary process:- one is the gradual progress of the Monad through the Kingdoms, from the Elemental to the Superhuman; the other is the cyclic nature of its progression. There are cycles within cycles, each itself composed of smaller ones. Each cycle, however, proceeds along the axis of the next larger one, like the coiled coil filament of an electric lamp.
The small coils in Nature are the life cycles of its small lives, of which the life forms of larger creatures, with longer life cycles, are composed, and so on up the scales of being. As forms develop complexity and refinement they become the vehicles for progressively expanding consciousness, where expanding means an ever-widening and deepening field of consciousness. This process extends not only up to the human stage, but beyond it. The significance of this serial development is that matter, the physical as well as the non-physical substances of the inner (to us subjective) realms, becomes educated by their experience in the living beings whose principles are composed of them. All substances are thereby developed to be suitable to play their part in the constitutions of beings and are continually refined as creatures ascend the ladder of life. The more developed beings impress their inner substances with, or project into them, the ideal patterns of their forms. While these forms may originally have been those which Nature had evolved for her purposes in the various situations of earthly existence, they become modified. Modifications in the inner worlds reflect into modifications in the outer, physical world. This process in terms of earth time is exceedingly slow but it is the inner mechanism of evolution. All things coming into being from the within to the without are modified according to changes in the inner subjective worlds. Very occasionally there are relatively sudden changes not in accordance with slow modification, like the sudden departure of dinosaurs. Gradual development is sometimes supplemented by a stepped programme at Dhyan Chohanic levels.
In these processes of ever-becoming, man on Earth is a critical stage. In him it is said the spiritual aspects and the material aspects of Being are equal. Up to the man-state matter was in the ascendent but after it the spiritual aspect begins to predominate. The highest or most developed Beings in the posthuman kingdoms represent the forefront of progressive change; as such they become not only the Architects of the forms in the kingdoms below them but also, according to their rank, they become directors, the governors and regulators of the processes. All this is the LAW in operation. There are many passages in the literature describing the numerous aspects of this ordered ever-becoming process; one, attributed to Hegel, summarizes its whole scope:
It is important to notice here that it is the "Breath", the Monad, or rather its vehicles, which go through the evolutionary stages; for example, no animal, as such, ever becomes a man, neither has any individual man ever been a plant or animal, nor according to this doctrine can he ever revert and be one in, say, a future life.
The passage goes on to explain
Another aspect of the mystery is that in Unity there are really no discrete parts. Everything is not only in and of the whole but is itself that whole. When considering the inner worlds altogether, we must somehow transcend our ideas of magnitudes if we are to comprehend this. In the (to us) subjective worlds there are no dimensions; they have no magnitude in relation to anything at physical level that we know of. If we bear this in mind, a further quotation may have meaning:
The evolutionary process is the actualization of this inherent potentiality. From within outwards is the rule, but between the extreme of spirit on the
one hand and physical matter on the other, there are states corresponding to the middle planes of Nature, all subjective to us at our physical level. The inner worlds are, however, those of archetypal, spiritual ideation at the higher levels and of prototypes at the mental and psychic levels in the Astral Light.
All the above is describing something of the process of man's becoming and telling of the uniquely important place he holds in the evolutionary process.
The principles of evolution as generally accepted by science, in so far as the survival of the fittest, and the development of life forms from the
primitively simple to the most complex are concerned, are in line with the esoteric view. The latter, however, differing from science, includes the inner, invisible worlds and their influence on the outer. It also includes the further idea of a planned progression, a systematic programme. The total economy of Nature is involved in this and all phases, e.g. at the physical level, all the necessary links in the food chain are coordinated. Another example of this programming is the timed arrival of the Root Races on the planet to coincide with the shifts in the continental land masses, i.e. their emergences from and submergences into the oceans.
Yet a further aspect of this evolutionary process, according to the esoteric view, is the transmission of not only physical but mental and psychic characteristics from units of life to their successors along any given chain of lives, e.g. from one personality to the next personality in man. In this process the Auric Envelope, or Egg, plays a significant part. It is the causative link between lives: for example, in it are stored the karmic effects of a man's successive lives. There is an Auric Egg or its equivalent for every living thing. In man it contains the Skandhas, the aggregate of those elementals which are conditioned by all his activities, both subjective and objective, during life.
Regarding the mechanism of physical heredity, orthodox science recognizes the role played by germ cells (genes, chromosomes, DNA) but in this connection Mme Blavatsky quotes a hypothesis propounded by a Professor Weissmann which negates the process of Darwinian transformation and substitutes the more occult view. The Professor shows
It was this hypothesis which was accepted by the Professor and a note says it is to this cell that he traces the immortal portion of man. But whence that embryological cell? The Secret Doctrine says,
The passage goes on to explain that in the lower kingdoms the "germinal cell" does not have all five principles but in man it must or "he will be born no higher than an animal", and even then he must be overshadowed by the upper spiritual principles.
As far as the animal kingdom is concerned, Esoteric Science does not agree with the Darwinian theory that man's original ancestor was the ape. It reverses that idea. It agrees there was a common ancestor but states that it was human not animal. This statement is elaborated and justified. It begins with a reference to the animal forms of the Third Round having been carried forward into the Fourth Round:
To an extent then the animal forms at the beginning of the Fourth Round were the progeny of men of the Third Round.
The text tells us that the man forms were the first to arrive on Earth (Globe D) in the Fourth Round. The mammalia were derived from these forms and to begin with, like man, they were hermaphrodite.
The animals, however, became bi-sexual. "THE ANIMALS SEPARATED THE FIRST (into male and female)... [and] BEGAN TO BREED." Man followed suit. "HE (man) SAID 'LET US AS THEY: LET US UNITE AND MAKE CREATURES'. THEY DID." Secret Doctrine (II 184, II 194, III 190). The process of the separation of the sexes in the Third Race is told in The Secret Doctrine Vol-II, Stanza X. Then follows a description of how the then mindless men of the time "took huge she-animals unto them".
Third Race man at this time was virtually speechless but acquired speech later. The progeny of his 'sin' with the animals, however, remained dumb, "to keep the shame untold". We are not told what the huge she-animals were. Man at this time being "mindless" was irresponsible, but mind was bestowed on him by the Manasaputras half way through the Third Race, at the time of the division of the sexes. In the Fourth Round, therefore, man had mind and was a responsible being. Nevertheless, we are told, some of the more primitive members of the Fourth Race ... "took wives fair to look at. Wives from the "mindless", the narrow headed. They bred monsters, wicked demons, male and female ..." . Secret Doctrine (II 271, II 284, III 273)
It was from these unions that the present anthropoid apes are descended. The great apes, however, have been the subject of evolutionary changes
since those remote times. Since those matings, Nature has prevented offspring resulting from unions of individuals of too widely differing species.
The present primary apes are the 'one solitary exception' See Part II, page 180 from the animal kingdom able to become man in this Fifth Round. It is said they will do so because by way of their ancestry - more than half human - they are possessed of human Egos. These Egos are entities who had already reached the human stage before this Round. Secret Doctrine (II 262, II 274, III 264)
The reason for the physical resemblance of the apes to that of man is obvious from their ancestry but the following is interesting a propos the barrier between differing species:
Evolution of the human race on a planet proceeds through the seven stages of the Root Races. These stages leave their representatives behind long after a new Race has taken the stage. Similarly each Root Race has seven sub-Races and each of these progressively smaller divisions. These divisions small or large are not those used by students of academic Ethnology.
Each of the esoteric divisions, in their day, had its physical characteristics, colour and so on. They inhabited various regions of the earth. Catastrophes caused mass migrations at intervals over vast periods of time. The Secret Doctrine contains a mass of information concerning the Races and their subdivisions. The following is an important example:
So the complex story of evolution unfolds. We have seen that the whole process is keyed to the archetypal form, at the highest level of ideation, of the Heavenly Man. Everything in the vast process is being developed to play its part in the constitution of perfected man, and man, we must remember, is a complex of principles for all of which the physical body is the instrument of expression during physical life. The evolutionary process takes place on all levels, right through to the super-human ones. It is in these lofty levels that man's development will culminate. He then will become a 'Builder' and then an 'Architect' in his turn. We are all embarked on a stupendous journey, whereon the pace of our going is entirely up to us, individually. By the principle of Unity, however, each man's progress furthers that of the whole of humanity.
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